Frederick Douglass: Prophet Of Freedom
- Biographies & Memoirs, American History , Best of 2018, For Him
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The life of Frederick Douglass stands as a testament to the pursuit of freedom—and to the profound changes America faced in the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. As a young man Douglass escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. Fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, he went on become one of the major literary figures, orators, and abolitionists of his time, bearing incomparable witness to the brutality of slavery.
In this remarkable biography, David Blight draws on a private collection few other historians have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers, to paint an indelible portrait of a figure whose prophetic words exerted a profound influence on America’s moral conscience.
“There is hardly a more important and symbolic figure in America’s never-ending struggle to get the universal rights we proclaimed at our founding. With his characteristic brilliance, David Blight brings Frederick Douglass to life; no longer is he merely a player in the drama of Afro-American liberation, but the avatar of all of our aspirations and dreams for a truly equal society.”—Ken Burns
“Never before has Frederick Douglass’s life been portrayed with such scope and authority. The whole arc is here—his endurance of and escape from slavery, his experience of quasi-freedom in the North, his shifting views of how abolition might be achieved, and, after the war was won, his keen awareness that the struggle for full freedom was far from over. David Blight’s probing biography will be indispensable for anyone hoping to understand this towering figure in the central drama of American history.” —Andrew Delbanco, Alexander Hamilton Professor of American Studies at Columbia University and author of _The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War_
“A stunning achievement. Blight captures an icon in full humanity. From riveting drama in slavery and Civil War, his Douglass rises into clairvoyant genius on the blinkered centrality of race in our struggle for freedom.”—Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of America in the King Years
“David Blight’s incandescent Frederick Douglass is a monumental achievement of biographical empathy, historical context, and grim comprehensiveness, a much-awaited masterpiece of a life that emblematized slavery as the problem of the 19th century, as was race that of Du Bois’s 20th, the legacy of both the problem of our 21st century.”—David Levering Lewis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of W.E.B. Du Bois: The Biography of a Race, 1868-1919
“Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom is a triumph—elegantly written, with much new material about one of the most famous and important men in modern history. David Blight has created a vibrant and convincing portrait of a towering figure who was also, Blight says, ‘thoroughly and beautifully human.’ A great American gets the stellar biography he deserves from one our country’s greatest historians.”—Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
“This much-anticipated biography of the foremost black leader and one of the greatest Americans of the nineteenth century fully lives up to and even exceeds high expectations. It is a work not only of stunning scholarship but also of literary artistry. Davis Blight’s—and Frederick Douglass’s—achievements have immeasurably enriched our understanding of slavery, abolitionism, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.”—James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
“David Blight brilliantly illustrates both the perils and possibilities of our national history through a rich and humane portrait of a man and his times. This is a remarkable book about a remarkable American and his enduring impact.” —Drew Gilpin Faust, former president, Harvard University, and author of _This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War _
“No American of his generation did more than Douglass, both in word and deed, to propel his people, and the nation, toward a reckoning with its original sin. Now he is brought vividly and delightfully to life once more in the flesh and bones of this masterful biography by one of our greatest historians. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom is a monumental achievement, a must-read for anyone charting the history of a democracy when it is most severely under attack.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University
Additional Book Details
|Release Date:||October 16, 2018|